Melbourne’s Danielle Goodwin has been collecting luxury pieces since she was just 10 years old. Her mum owned a vintage furniture and homewares store in New Zealand, which was where her curiosity for pre-owned goods was born. Every weekend Goodwin would follow her mum to garage sales, auction houses and antique markets, and soon enough had filled two storage units with her own with trinkets, which she slowly shipped to Australia over the years, and eventually began selling herself at the Camberwell market.
In 2012, Goodwin founded online vintage fashion store Hawkeye Vintage, an online boutique that has since become a trusted destination for rare accessories and clothing from bygone eras.
As the discussion around fast fashion, sustainability and ethical manufacturing heats up, an increasing number of online second-hand stores are cropping up to cater for the modern consumer concerned with the fashion industry’s throwaway culture. It’s something that Goodwin herself is particularly passionate about, using social media to drive home the importance of recycled fashion and upcycled vintage fabrics, while encouraging luxury-lovers to seek out second-hand pieces instead of new.
“It’s such a fast-growing trend right now and in the last two years the awareness for sustainable, circular fashion has become huge,” says Goodwin. “People want luxury goods without the retail price tags. And shopping vintage is a great alternative as you can still get those luxe items at a fraction of the price.”
Goodwin invited Broadsheet to her new Collingwood warehouse to check out her vintage wardrobe essentials.
BS: What does an average day look like for you?
DG: After dropping my two kids off at day care (two and three years old), I rush to our current office – a warehouse space in South Yarra. I start with the tedious admin, then move onto pricing stock. Currently I’m working through over 30,000 items for our sale, which all need to be hung, tagged and priced. I also have appointments with bloggers, models, influencers and stylists. We do all our advertising, graphic design and photos in-house . Then I touch base on the new website, which has taken months to build.
BS: How do you get dressed for work?
DG: Every day is different depending on what I’ve got on. If I have lots of errands to run (and I know I'll be in and out of the car and appointments) I’ll wear comfy leisurewear like leggings, sport shoes and a tee. If it’s cold I’ll always reach for a black puffer jacket – a Melbourne staple.
If it’s a normal day in the warehouse I tend to wear vintage Versace jeans with a vintage Harley tee or a vintage cashmere knit teamed with New Balance shoes. When I meet with clients or have appointments I wear relaxed fitted jeans with a white tee, a vintage Chanel tweed jacket or a vintage YSL or Escada blazer, which has the best cut and is so smart. The fabrics are gorgeous.
I’m always on the run between work errands and the kids, so I need practical accessories that are easy to throw on. I always have a Hermes scarf on hand and a vintage designer bag – either a Gucci tote that’s big enough for my laptop, or my vintage chain-strap Chanel so I can wear it cross-body.
BS: Describe your own work wardrobe?
DG: As for most of us, it’s constantly changing with season, age and influences. I’m lucky enough that I get to be influenced quite regularly by new vintage collections that I’m working with, my day-to-day style noticeably starts to become a reflection of that.
Recently I’ve traded in a more polished look for something a bit more relaxed and free-spirited. Lately I’m always adding a chain belt or a chunky woven earring to my outfit. I’m definitely giving off a bit of a “more is more” vibe right now, which can be really fun.
BS: What was the one piece you couldn’t sell and had to keep for yourself?
DG: I do secretly keep a couple of my fave items from every collection we source – of which I now have a whole roomful. One that I’m still riding high from is this red Valentino coat, which I set aside for myself from our last archival sale. We had over 5000 fashion enthusiasts come to the sale, it was full of women throwing clothes around.
The spare room in my house [is full of pieces]. I promise that’s not out of complete selfishness. My growing archive of pieces is always driven by the fact [they] can never be found again. With each collection there’s usually one or two exceptionally rare and special pieces that I put away as an addition to the vault.
BS: Who is your vintage muse and how have they influenced your own style?
DG: [Nasty Gal founder] Sophia Amoruso will always be a major fashion influence of mine. We have a similar passion for vintage and the ability to turn this knowledge of recycled fashion into the catalyst for a business. She’s an absolute inspiration for the persistence I put into my business and also my personal style. She has done such an amazing job at combining the character of her vintage pieces with modern trends.
BS: How does vintage fashion fit into the sustainability puzzle for you?
DG: Sustainability is a huge issue today. Our clients are passionate about sustainability and environmental issues – they prefer quality [vintage] fashion that lasts over cheap, disposable fashion that ends up in landfill, pollutes the atmosphere and is often produced using cheap labour.
I’ve found, in my experience, young people particularly don’t want mass-produced [clothing]. They want one-of-a-kind pre-owned fashion that enhances their own history and individuality.
It’s amazing how much joy our clients get from the touch and feel of real cotton, real silk, real linen – and knowing that they are extending the life of a pre-owned item, at a fraction of the price if it were bought new.